2014 Color(s) of the Year

December 5, 2013

I have been putting together information for this post for weeks now but have been uninspired to write about the colors predicted as the “2014 Color of the Year”. But now that all of the predictions are in, I thought I’d share them and see if it is just me that doesn’t find much appealing about any of them.

If I had to pick one, I’d have to say my favorite came from Benjamin Moore who chose their color “Breath of Fresh Air”. Although it is beautiful in their photograph, it is quite bright and cold in person. I love most airy blues because they are so soothing and calming and use them often in bedrooms.


I always enjoy seeing the beautiful Colour Futures book from the color team of the manufacturer of our paints. I even have created full spectrum versions of pretty much every color they have predicted for over the past ten years. However, this year, they chose a muted Teal:


Again, a very pretty color in the photo and in this instance, the actual color is more subdued and doesn’t have the life to it I would have expected. In their Colour Futures book, they describe Teal as “Somewhere between blue and green it has come to symbolise balance, but should be combined with neutral tones and shades of wood so as not to overwhelm a space.” 

PPG, the new manufacturer of our paints (they bought out Akzo Nobel last Spring), picked pale yellow for 2014. The example they use from their color deck is Turning Oakleaf:


PPG expects the color to have a prominent role in home decor in the coming year as part of their forecast for use of brighter, more optimistic colors among homeowners. I have to say, my Buttercream which was the first full spectrum color I ever created is still one of my top sellers and the color I have in my own home which can be seen in a recently published Houzz.com article:

My Houzz: Cottage Comforts in the Louisiana Woods

Color guru and good friend Kate Smith of Sensational Color was interviewed in the Washington Post and gave this prediction: 

“Gray is the new beige. Though dont call it greige, like its some cutesy neutral du jour. As color expert Kate Smith explains, over the past decade or so, the design industry and the public have grown to love complex colors, colors that are hard to describe such as the manifold shades of gray. And, she says, once you start to appreciate and understand these complex colors, theres no going back.

I have to say, from personal experience, I have to agree with Kate in that my most popular colors are my complex neutrals (Mushroom, Silt, Stone, Bark, Rainbow Fog, Merlin’s Mist, Avalon Mist, Gustavian Grey, to name a few). 

Finally, the source everyone gets the most excited about is Pantone’s Leatrice Eismann and up until a couple of days ago, many thought her pick would be “Dazzling Blue” which she selected last Spring as a color to watch. Even Vanity Fair magazine posted an article on their website about it and later made a comical retraction of sorts: 

Update: “Dazzling Blue” Not the Color of the Year, Just Some Random Dumb Color You Can Continue Ignoring

And as they feared, Leatrice selected a totally different “2014 Color of the Year”!


Once again, the photo does the color more justice than it deserves. Aren’t you glad you’re not so trendy that you feel you absolutely must use one of these in your homes?



  1. I think Breath Of Fresh Air will have the longest shelf life. Radiant Orchid seems limited to a kids room or like all the other colors that are out there, just in accessories. It’s pretty but just in small doses.

  2. Yes, Donna, not very easy to live with colors this year!

  3. Reblogged this on hrpropainting's Blog.

  4. I’m with you guys. Technically speaking – “yuck” comes to mind, lol! I guess they can’t get it right every year.

  5. I agree Ellen- I like shades of those colors but not the exact colors they chose- too garish. I never expected radiant orchid- not a pleasing hue of purple 😦 Usually the hand dyed colors I create for the season coincidentally almost match the Pantone selections – not this time… I’ll invent my own 2014 palette!

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